Dell Mini 10v Mac OS X Discussion Discussion dedicated to installing and setting up Mac OS X on the Dell Mini 1011
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Dubai, UAE
FYI.. Changing Region Coding on Rebranded WiFi Cards - 02-05-2010, 04:54 PM
I bought a second hand $15 half-height wireless card (HP branded) from a Hong Kong eBay trader and finally got around to playing with it today. The chipset is Broadcom's BCM43222 so in theory it supports 802.11 a/b/g/n standards.
On swapping for the stock Dell 1397 card, it was recognised by OSX but unsurprisingly reports itself as an "unknown vendor" and it would only connect using 2.4GHz frequencies (b/g compatibility mode) on my TimeCapsule router. In system profiler I could see that it supported 'n' channels up to 140, but wasn't listing channels 149+ which is what the TimeCapsule uses in 5GHz mode. In Win7 the card was automatically detected as a generic Broadcom 43xx card supporting a/b/g and draft-n speeds, but as with OSX, it wouldn't see my WLAN in 5GHz mode.
This led me to go looking for firmware patches, as I suspected the card needed to be updated to full 'n' spec from 'draft n' ..and eventually I came across the following posting:
Rebranding Broadcom 802.11a/b/g/n Cards as Airport | Prasys' Blog
This made me realise that 'full n' vs. 'draft n' was all done in software and running the right drivers would help, but on the Apple side the 'right' drivers was probably tied to using an Apple branded card.
So, I ended up following the instructions to dump, edit and reload the cards firmware. In doing so this I noticed that the HP card had a country code of 'DE' set along with a regional setting. This reminded me that WiFi kit has restricted capabilities in some parts of the world. I checked in my MacBook Pro which also has a Broadcom WiFi card and system profiler shows 'ETSI' as the regional setting and 'US' as the country code. I wondered if changing these details in the firmware would change the card properties?
Long story short, it does. As well as rebranding the cards vendor/product ID's to match those of a BCM4322 card used in a late 2009 MacBook Pro model, I changed the country code from DE to US and made an educated guess on the region code. On rebooting I was very happy to find the card reporting itself as an 'Airport Extreme' card that supports a/b/g/n including the high-band 5GHz channels. System profiler reports the card as US spec (and FCC regionalised) and it's happily connecting to my 5GHz WLAN at 300MBit/sec.
NB: The side effect of changing the vendor/product ID's from known HP ones is that Win7 couldn't quite make up its mind which driver to use and it went for a generic Microsoft one. This was a 4.x.x.x series driver dated 2008 so I went looking for something more recent. Eventually I looked on the Dell support site and downloaded the Dell 1510 wireless drivers (listed under the Mini10v and Win7!). With these and the country/region ID swap in firmware I'm now seeing 270/300 Mbit/sec connections from the card.
For the record, the following were the before/after readouts from the sprom tool:
HP BRANDED BCM4322 CARD
AIRPORT EXTREME BCM4322 CARD
subp 0x0093 <= this is used in a MBP model that uses the BCM4322 chip
subv 0x106b <= vendor ID for Apple
regrev 0x0001 <= shows up as 'FCC'
ccode US <= country code
Hopefully this hint might get someone else running at full 'n' speeds!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Hampshire
02-05-2010, 04:55 PM
Mini 9|2GB RAM|64GB RunCore|Intel 5300|Windows 10
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